Monday, 3 March 2014

Album Review: Keepin' It Green - Splash'N Boots

Splash‘N Boots are a musical duo currently based in Toronto, Canada.  They formed in 2003 while still at University, and have been entertaining family audiences ever since.  Their success to date has enabled them to perform around the world in countries including Australia, the US, Bermuda and even the UAE. Their latest CD Keepin’ it Green is truly outstanding, with a collection of songs designed to get everyone up and moving, in celebration of “our amazing Planet Earth”.

The album is inspired by the simple notion that we can all make a difference to the planet, even “in our own backyard”.  Although there is a serious message here, the album is more of a celebration than a statement of discontent, and is brimming with memorable tunes that should inspire everyone to take action, celebrate our beautiful planet, and have fun.

There is no time for introspection here, the music is in your face from the start.  The opening track “Backyard Conservation Celebration”, really is a celebration, and the high energy groove adds further potency to the message “it all starts with you”.  “Hey Little Tree” has a more gentle feel, as it traces the journey of a tree’s growth.  It is a song of gratitude for the air we breathe, and the food and shelter provided to animals.

“Little Brown Bat” is another upbeat song, which eloquently describes the numerous talents of the brown bat, who can sing, fly, spin and squeak when he is not “sleeping away the day”.  The descriptive lyrical verse gives the song a nice punchy feel adding further impact.  
In fact, melody is splashed all over this album.  “Spotted Turtle” has a beautiful acoustic introduction, revealing a turtle that smiles and “has a story to tell”.  The acoustic guitar carries the melody of the song throughout, as the vocals describe the turtle’s adventures capturing the essence of this wonderful creature.

And finally to “Recycle (Everybody Wins)”, which is pretty self-explanatory.  Here the listener is provided with various examples of what and how to recycle.  Newspapers are not just for the news; we can make a hat, or put them to another use.  We are asked to think about what bins to use, and the repetitive refrain of the chorus enables the message to really sink in.

You can also hear some interesting musical references on this album.  The opening track “Backyard Conservation Celebration” owes its rhythm to Chuck Berry.  “Water Water” pays homage to Elvis.  “Tiger Beetlemania” with its retro turntable intro has a lovely sixties feel.  “Arctic Song” with its mix of eighties keyboards, and sprightly harmonies reminded me of “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

Although it could be argued that the environment as a theme has been somewhat overdone of late.  I’m sure there are plenty of educators out there who would appreciate a coherent environmental album to help them develop suitable themes in the classroom, particularly, one that is well written and arranged.  The production of this album is also first rate, with excellent musicianship throughout.  Another plus is the group can boast two lead singers, giving them another unique selling point.

Splash’N Boots are certainly one of the most colourful, innovative and exciting groups around, and this album fully justifies their multi award winning status.  The songs inform, inspire, and celebrate with a refreshingly upbeat sound.  An absolute must on your playlist, Splash’N Boots clearly have set the bar very high, and in doing so have entertained families throughout the world.  I salute them.

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